In conversation with Francine Blanc
Established by UCL graduates, the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Alumni Network is a supportive community of alumni who self-define as BME.
4 June 2018
UCL alumna Francine Blanc is the latest member to join the BME Alumni Network Committee. She spoke to us about what she has been up to since graduating and why she volunteers with UCL’s BME community.
Where has your career taken you?
I am now an associate solicitor in the Real Estate team at Russell-Cooke LLP. As many aspiring solicitors are aware, obtaining a training contract is an extremely competitive process and takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and a thick skin. Having qualified as a solicitor in September 2015, I am still at a relatively early stage in my career; I am proud, however, to have made that start at a top 100 UK law firm.
What volunteering do you do at UCL?
I have recently joined the BME Alumni Committee. I'm looking forward to getting more involved.
What inspired you to become more involved in the UCL Alumni Community?
I attended the BME Alumni Network’s panel discussion on “The BME Leader in Today’s Society” during Black History Month in 2017, which was the first alumni event I have attended since finishing my MSc in 2008.
Attending that discussion highlighted the issues that BME individuals still continue to face during their professional lives and the importance of championing diversity in the workplace. I decided that I wanted to get involved with the BME alumni committee, in order to assist with organising more events throughout the year both for alumni members and current students, and also to hopefully arrange more opportunities for alumni to mentor current BME students. To that end, I would welcome alumni and students to connect with me via the Alumni Online Community mentoring platform if this is something of interest.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of getting involved with the BME Alumni Network?
The committee is a lovely group of individuals and there is always room for more in the network!
Click here to join the BME Alumni Network and stay up to date with the latest news and events.